Ed Bolen expresses opposition to Obama budget
The NBAA president and CEO Ed Bolen has renounced the renewed calls by President Obama for new general aviation user fees in the recently released proposed budget for the 2014 fiscal year.
“It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that the constant negative rhetoric about business aviation from the White House has once again translated into an onerous policy position from the administration, this time in the president’s newest budget proposal,” Bolen said.
In its FY2014 budget plan, the Obama administration claims a $100 per-flight user fee is needed to help reduce the nation’s deficit. “We agree with the administration that deficit-reduction is a top priority, and welcome an honest debate on the subject,” Bolen added. “But it is clear that this unwarranted user fee could significantly harm an essential American industry.”
Bolen noted that per-flight user fees for GA have been proposed in the administration’s past two budget proposals. Congress has repeatedly rejected them, in part out of recognition that, unlike the proven, efficient, pay-at-the-pump fuel-tax mechanism paid by general aviation to help fund the nation’s aviation system, user fees would be burdensome to comply with, and would require a large, expensive bureaucracy to administer.
Last week, a bipartisan majority of 223 House lawmakers signed another letter to the president in opposition to his continued call for user fees.
“NBAA Members have long been unified with the rest of the general aviation community in opposing user fees,” Bolen noted. “We thank the leaders in congress who have supported the industry by repeatedly telling the White House that user fees are a non-starter on Capitol Hill.”
In addition to NBAA’s concerns over the user fees proposed in the administration’s new budget, Bolen also pointed to language in the document calling for a change in the current tax treatment for GA aircraft, which the White House dubs as a “corporate jet tax loophole.”
“This proposal is the kind of gimmickry serves no useful purpose, other than to mischaracterize and even vilify our industry,” Bolen said. “Further, it has been noted repeatedly that the money raised by changing the schedule would have no significant impact on the nation’s deficit. What’s worse, it has the potential to negatively impact the tens of thousands of jobs in America’s world-leading business aircraft manufacturing sector.”
As the Obama budget moves to Congress for consideration, NBAA pledged to continue examining the document for other provisions of concern to business aviation. In the meantime, Bolen urged NBAA members to advise lawmakers to oppose the unwanted provisions in the president’s budget.
“When it comes to these unwelcome provisions in the president’s budget, the voice of business aviation must be heard by the lawmakers who will review the proposal,” Bolen concluded. “NBAA will be advocating for the industry in the halls of Congress here in Washington, and we know we can count on our Members to support the Association’s efforts by using our online tools to reach out to their elected officials.”